11/22/2014 11:22PM

Breeders Crown: Thinking Out Loud, Shelliscape win aged pacing events

Nikki Sherman
Thinking Out Loud vaulted off cover for driver John Campbell.

Thinking Out Loud burst through the stretch and caught favorite Sweet Lou in the final strides to capture Saturday’s $400,000 Breeders Crown Open Pace by a head in 1:48 3/5 at the Meadowlands.

Sent off at odds of 4-1, Thinking Out Loud and driver John Campbell rallied from sixth place in the stretch to finish ahead of Sweet Lou, State Treasurer and Modern Legend at the wire.

Campbell extended his record for victories by a driver in the series to 46. It was the 16th triumph for trainer Bob McIntosh, who is second to Jimmy Takter in victories in Breeders Crown history.

Bettor’s Edge went to the front early before giving way to Foiled Again in an opening quarter-mile of :27 3/5. Sweet Lou grabbed the lead on the backstretch, but received pressure from Modern Legend as the field hit the halfway point in :54 2/5.

Those two remained locked in a battle at three-quarters, in 1:20 4/5, before Sweet Lou began to edge away in the stretch. But Thinking Out Loud was only beginning his charge and made up 4-1/4 lengths in the lane to claim the victory.

A total of 2-3/4 lengths separated the entire seven-horse field.

“I was third over, but I was having a hard time keeping up at that point,” Campbell said. “I had to chase him hard until mid-stretch and then he kicked in and that’s when he was pacing his best the last eighth of a mile. He is a closer; we’ve tried to race him up front and every time it doesn’t work. He’s just a real good closer and always has been.”

Thinking Out Loud, a 5-year-old homebred son of Ponder-Los Angeles, is owned by Robert McIntosh Stables, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings. He has won five of 21 races this year and 16 of 54 lifetime, with total purses of $1.87 million.

“It’s very special, one that I raised myself and raced his father and his mother, too, so that’s special,” said McIntosh, sporting a Detroit Tigers cap. “I knew it was going to be very tough, I think this is the best bunch of free-for-allers I can remember in my 40 years in the business.

“When you have four from one stable (of trainer Ron Burke), it was tough. I was using (an expletive) there because it didn’t look good, stacked up, but thank God that Brett Miller came with (Modern Legend) and mixed it up a little; that made it a better race. It was a hell of a race, hell of a race.”

Shelliscape came from the back of the pack to win Saturday’s $281,250 Breeders Crown Mare Pace by a half-length over Rocklamation in 1:49 4/5 at the Meadowlands, giving the 5-year-old mare her second consecutive victory in the event.

The win also gave Bamond Racing, the father-and-son team of Jeffrey Bamond and Jeffrey Jr., its fourth consecutive win in the Breeders Crown Mare Pace. Bamond Racing co-owns 2011-12 winner Anndrovette, who finished fourth tonight.

Voelz Hanover and Krispy Apple battled for the lead through a first quarter in :26 and half-mile in :53 1/5. Anndrovette made a three-wide move as the group hit three-quarters in 1:21 4/5, at which point Shelliscape and driver John Campbell were on the move from last place in the 11-horse field.

Rocklamation finished second, followed by Charisma Hanover and Anndrovette.

“She made up a lot of ground, she’s a real good closer,” Campbell said. “When I got away so bad, I was sure hoping the fractions were stepping up front because I was nowhere near where I wanted to be. Just the way it worked out at the gate, fortunately they got down there on time and when I moved her over at the head of the stretch I knew she was going to get a real good piece of it.”

The victory was Campbell’s second Breeders Crown triumph of the night and extended his record to 47 in the series. It was win No. 3 for trainer P.J. Fraley.

 “I’d rather race in the front; it’s much easier, no decisions to be made up there,” Campbell said. “But sometimes you’ve got to race off the pace and it worked out for both these horses tonight.”

Shelliscape, who went off at odds of 10-1, has won four of 25 races this year and 16 of 73 lifetime, with career purses of $1.15 million. She is a daughter of Artiscape-Shell I Scoot.

-Courtesy of Harness Racing Communications, a division of the U.S. Trotting Association. For more information, please visit www.ustrotting.com

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